Interprofessional Anatomy Education in the United Kingdom and Ireland: Perspectives from Students and Teachers
There is increasing recognition of multiprofessional learning in anatomy and its role in medical and healthcare professions. This study utilized two components to investigate anatomy interprofessional education (AIPE) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. First, a survey involving qualitative and quantitative components asked Heads of Anatomy to report on their institutions’ uptake of AIPE. Second, a series of case studies explored the experiences of students by using evaluation forms and an in-depth analysis of thematic concepts to understand the learners’ perspectives on designing and delivering AIPE. Out of the 13 institutions that took part in the survey, eight did not offer an AIPE program. Between the remaining five institutions that deliver AIPE programs, 10 different modules are offered with the majority involving healthcare professions. The AIPE component is rated highly by students. The themes from the case studies highlight how valuable AIPE is from the student perspective both in terms of engaging them in anatomy as well as in the broader skills of teamwork and communication. The case studies also revealed how AIPE can be engaging for groups of students who might not have previously had access to cadaveric anatomy, for example, engineers and archeologists. The results of this study have implications for curriculum design in medicine and healthcare but also for further engagement of professional groups from non-healthcare backgrounds.
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